Mariah Faye &

Independence Day


Bonnie M. Wells

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An August Day

My granddaughter, Mariah was scheduled to sing at the local talent contest, which began at 2:00 pm.

Mike and I had planned on attending the event - until the day dawned hot and humid and got progressively worse. By noon Mike said he didn't want to go, and after going out to double check all the animals, which had already been crated in their summer basement so they could stay cool, I decided I wasn't going either.

It wasn't as if we hadn't heard Mariah sing Independence Day {by Martina McBride} before. Although she did a fabulous job on several songs, Independence Day was the song she was to sing at the talent contest, and it was one of my all time favorites.

I hoped someone would video tape her performance so I could watch it later, because 95 degrees was just too hot for me. And I knew it would be even hotter at the contest because we'd have to sit or stand directly in the sun.

Well, I hadn't promised I'd be there ....

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Get Up And Go

I decided to do some work on the computer - answer a few emails that I hadn't gotten around to and try to get the latest page in the Brooke Wilberger series finished.

By 1:00 I'd finished checking and responding to emails and was well into the page for Brooke.

"Get up and go," -- I didn't hear the voice, but I certainly felt it.

I glanced at the clock - it was 1:45pm. The contest would start in 15 minutes and I was at least 20 minutes away from it! I had no idea when Mariah would be on stage. If they called them alphabetically, she might be first since her last name was Anderson!

Many years ago I learned not to argue with that "voice that I couldn't hear!" Just get up as fast as possible and do whatever I was told to do!! I shut the computer down immediately, grabbed my soda and cigarette and up the steps I went.

"Wonder if I can find a parking place?" I asked Mike as I breezed past him, and headed for the bedroom to change clothes.

"Are you going up there? You probably can't get within a mile of the place and will have to walk. It's too hot to walk that far - I thought you weren't going," Mike was saying - as I put my tennis shoes on and laced them.

"Change of plans - I'm going," I said as I kissed him goodbye and rushed out the door.

The heat hit me like a blast from hell as I walked from our air conditioned house.

I must be nuts, I thought as I climbed into the Pontiac, which was at least 110 degrees. Yep, I have got to be off my rocker - too much time in the sun!

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Reserved Parking!

I fretted as I traveled up the road. What if Mike was right and I had to walk 10 or 12 blocks? This heat was unbearable - and besides that my doctor had told me to stay out of it as much as possible.... Oh well, I'd just take my chances.

As I reached the area, I turned down the very first street I came to because something told me that I was really pushing my luck, and if I didn't time it just right I wasn't going to hear Mariah sing.

I hadn't gone even half a block toward the event before I came to an empty parking spot. It almost looked as if it had been reserved for me!! "Okay," I mumbled as I swung into it, and got out of the car.

Most of the area that I had to walk through was shaded, and I began to think something strange was going on because I was parked less than a block from the stage! Hope they don't tow my car away, I thought as I cut across the parking lot where the stage was set up.

I arrived in time to hear one song by another performer before Mariah's name was called! "Talk about timing," Christina said as she and Josh came walking over to me!

"Yeah, your old mama's still got it, .... Ya gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run,!" I chided.

Josh arched an eyebrow at me and Christina just shook her head.

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The Cowboy

We were still standing in the parking lot talking, when I first saw the good looking, dark haired guy with a mustache and cowboy attire.

But it wasn't his looks that attracted my attention - although I didn't know exactly what it was.

I watched him stroll across the parking lot and sensed a familiarity about him that I could not explain.

"Do you know that guy?" Christina asked when she saw me watching him so intently.

"No, I don't think so -- but -- no, I don't know him..." I stammered.

Eventually we moved to a shady spot under a tree and sat down on the curb to drink some cold pop and have a bite to eat while we waited for all the performers to finish. The judging wouldn't be done until all classes had performed, so we had a couple of hours to wait.

The "cowboy" made several trips back and forth past us as we sat there talking. Each time, regardless of what we were discussing, my eyes followed him until he was out of sight. Each time Christina questioned me about the man.

"Maybe you went to school with him," she said at one point.

"No, he's several years younger than me. I never went to school with him." I replied.

"Maybe he reminds you of someone," she said at another time ...

"Well, he does walk a little bit like a guy I once knew - a guy that liked to wear western shirts, jeans and cowboy boots. That guy had dark hair and a mustache back then too, but no, it wasn't Wild Bill that I actually thought of when I watched the guy walk past me -- although it was like Wild Bill was there - somehow - somewhere... It was a very strange feeling, and one I'd not encountered in a long time. I'd "tuned in to a complete stranger," and didn't have a clue as to why or what I was supposed to be looking for, but I was LOOKING!!

"Why does he remind me of a cop?" I asked Christina as the man strode back toward the stage area again.

"I don't have any idea, because he certainly doesn't walk like a cop, doesn't dress like a cop ... I don't know why you would think of a cop." She replied.

Neither did I .... Wild Bill and a cop.... the heat must really be affecting me, I thought as I tried to chase the idea from my mind.

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Another "Duplication" - Or Spiritual Message?

Eventually we moved from our shaded spot under the tree, back over to the stage area so we could see the final contestants in the adult classification. Some of them were real good, and I was amazed at how many people had gone with the "western theme" this year.

Mariah had gone with that also, and looked stunning in hot pink pants, black shirt and black and hot pink cowboy hat. Several of the other performers had also worn the western clothing and I thought they all looked real cute.

I was talking to Christina about something when the next contestant was announced --

"Our next performer is Mr. Rick Petty singing --" the announcer said, and I actually stopped breathing, as I watched the dark haired guy with the mustache come through the crowd and up onto the stage.

I have no idea what the man sang. He must have been pretty good at whatever it was because he won the beautiful trophy and the $100.00 prize!

"Oh my God," was all I could mutter - over and over again.

Bryan, Christina and Josh were all gathered around me asking what was wrong - and to be honest, I wasn't sure that I wasn't having a heart attack or a heat stroke!!

Like I said, I have no idea what the man sang, so it could not have been his song that took my breath away ...

It was the realization of what had transpired today. Yes, I suppose I was to come and hear Mariah sing - but beyond that, there was something else that was so phenomenal, so mysterious and grand that it actually shook me to my very core.

"Do you know that man?" Christina was asking when I recovered my senses enough to answer her.

"No, I do not know Rick Petty - never met the man in my life - but - several years ago, back when Wild Bill and I were friends - back when I was thinking about and asking a few questions about the murder of Washington County Deputy Ray Clark, Wild Bill had sold his shotgun to a man he worked with by the name of Rick Petty!

I watched the guy walk off the stage, and all I could think was - he reminded me of Wild Bill and a cop - an hour ago, I was tuning in to Wild Bill and a cop, and now, here I stand in a state of absolute dismay!

Now whether Rick Petty is the same man Wild Bill once worked with, and to whom he sold his shotgun, or not, I guess I'll never know, because I didn't have courage enough to go ask the man!

I thought about it. I wanted to do it - but I couldn't. I could not figure out how I could ask such a question without revealing the fact that I had once been Wild Bill's friend - and even now, after all these years, after all this time, I realize that I still have not gotten over what he did - to me, to my family, my friends .... I just cannot forget something that cut so deep.

Nor can I forget that although I never knew Ray Clark - never met the man, or ever seen him as far as I know - I cannot ever forget that someone murdered one of our deputies. I just can't let it go - and walk away. I just can't do it - because God won't let me do it.

This battle is not one I chose folks. I'm not nearly that brave - not to mention smart!

And I have no say-so in how official business is conducted in this area, but if I did, I would go to Rick Petty and see if he still had the shotgun he bought from Wild Bill, and I would take that gun, and I would test it in every way imaginable, because someone pulled the trigger on the shotgun that murdered our deputy, and if I were a lawman, I would never, never rest until Ray Clark's killer was behind bars {again!}

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Independence Day

I'd been the one who selected the song that Mariah sang. Part of the reason I liked the song was because the original artist was Martina McBride. Her first name contained my maiden name - Martin. Wild Bill worked for the "Martin-...... Company" now days, and he'd been indicted for raping a 13 year old kid by the name of Martin back in 2000. Nothing had come of the case though because the charges had been dropped by the prosecuting attorney just as it was coming into the court room.

I hadn't forgotten it though, and I never would - ever.

"Let freedom ring - let the white dove sing ...... roll the stone away - let the guilty pay ..... it's Independence Day.....

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8-28-05: Well folks, when I posted this page I thought it was all over - guess I should have known better! This drama continues even as I write this and if you'd like to see how it all began, and what happened this Saturday, then click on the following link!!

Independence Day II

And if you'd like to see what followed in February of 2008, on the anniversary of Deputy Ray Clark's murder, please see the following link:

The Murder Of Judith Petty

Bonnie M. Wells

A Ray Of Hope

This Belle's Gonna Tell

42 Days & Holding

Pure Coincidence / Homepage

The Symbolic Cases

Page posted/Update: 8-22-05 / June 2007 / 2008 / January 2012 // BMW

Song is Independence Day, sung by Mariah Fay Anderson. Demo made in June of 2006: